Employment coalition seeks more access to airport construction jobs

A local coalition dedicated to improving working conditions in Nashville has identified a need at the Nashville International Airport for increased community access and stronger focus regarding job opportunities for low-skilled workers.

The recently formed Stand Up Nashville Coalition convened last Thursday with a  crowd of 200 at Mount Zion to determine the shape its efforts will take in the near future. The coalition hopes to insure that the coming $1.2 billion expansion of the airport benefits those left out of Nashville’s booming economy.

It has engaged the Nashville Airport Authority with a set of proposals to increase community access to the opportunities in construction and service jobs.

For one, the group wants to see more road construction contractors with strong safety records and apprenticeships, be chosen over lowest bid contractors that use temporary labor services.

“When people in North Nashville, Napier, and Edgehill see cranes over their neighborhood and read about billion dollar projects they wonder when their struggles will change,” said Odessa Kelly, Stand Up Nashville Co-chair.
Ultimately, the group hopes to bring training and apprenticeship programs into Nashville’s designated Promise Zones, or areas where the average unemployment rate is 14 percent, three times over the city average.